2023 got off to a good start with our well attended Fastelavn in February, followed in March and then again in May with our successful Kroaftens. Many of you also attended our summer BBQ (thanks to Tom Russell for the great job cooking the hamburgers and hotdogs), which also included our Annual General Meeting.
For those who were unable to attend our July BBQ/Annual General meeting, the board members remained the same with the addition of Kirsten Lorentsen, and Hanne Silavwe, Ernst and Linda Nielsen as a Members at Large.
Unfortunately one of the events that was mentioned at the Annual General meeting and that many of you were looking forward to, the Men’s Dinner, had to be cancelled due to the fact that the two co-ordinators, Finn Conradsen and Dean Hardman, were involved in fighting our horrendous BC Wildfires (thank you for your service). That leaves us our Danish Church Service on Friday, December 15th and our Christmas Dinner planned for Saturday, December 16th. We are currently working with Norway House to secure dates for events in 2024. (Annemarie to fill in dates when established).
Unfortunately booking events at Norway House has become not only difficult but expensive. For example, Norway House is requiring $1,000 by November 15th for our Christmas event. Moving forward we do not know how much money we will need to advance in order to secure bookings for events. You will note that we need to have a certified Food Safe person, a certified Bartender and an insurance policy that includes coverage of Norway House. It is becoming complicated and costly to host an event there. Moving forward, if you are able to contribute some ideas for upcoming events and/or time and energy to work on upcoming club events, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Hans Frederiksen at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 250-881-4267.
Looking forward to seeing you soon.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
What's New at the Danish Social Club
In Denmark, there is a tradition called Fastelavn. Fastelavn is celebrated seven weeks before Easter Day. But what is Fastelavn?
Fastelavn is a carnival of sort, where kids dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating. It is celebrated in daycare institutions, schools etc. While Fastelavn is mostly for children, as few adults dress up, you can experience that the students at the university also will celebrate Fastelavn by having Fastelavn Parties.
Some say that Fastelavn is the Danish equivalent of Halloween, but while there are similarities, like kids dressing up in costumes, there are also many differences between the Danish Fastelavn and Halloween.
Fastelavn is an old tradition and has deep cultural roots. It is based on the Roman Catholic tradition of celebrating the days before Lent. At Fastelavn, kids “knock the cat out of the barrel” with a bat. Or in Danish, “Slå katten af tønden”. In the old times, a black cat was literally put in a barrel as a symbol of evil and beaten to death. This was done to ward off evil.
Nowadays, however, the barrel is filled with candy. When the kids knock the barrel, they compete to become “Cat Queen” and “Cat King”. “Cat Queen” is the one who knocks the bottom off the barrel so that the candy comes flushing out, while the person who becomes “Cat King” is the one who knocks the last remaining board off the barrel.
Another tradition related to Fastelavn is eating Fastelavnsboller. These are sweet buns that are typically filled with cream or jam. You can buy them almost everywhere in bakeries and grocery stores as Føtex.
If you have children, be aware if the child’s school or day-care institution celebrates fastelavn, so that you can dress up your child. You can make your child’s costume yourself or buy one in a toy store, as these usuallly have a vide sortiment of costumes.
If you are interested in learning more about Fastelavn, its origin and its traditions, you can read more here.
King and Queen of Fastelavn: King Sam and Queen Freya.